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By Clifford Faiparik

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 26) - Only two out of every 10 children in Port Moresby’s Vadavada settlement eat one decent meal a day, local leader Mr. Timothy Karua told visiting dignitaries last Friday.

He also said only two out of every 100 youths have formal employment in the city.

The rest, Karua said, get by on what they could find, otherwise they go hungry.

Karua was speaking at the launch of PGK6.3 million [US$2.2 million] integrated community development project sponsored by the governments of Japan and Papua New Guinea at Vadavada Settlement last Friday.

As part of the project launching, jobless settlement youths staged a mock armed hold-up witnessed by Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu, her Secretary Joseph Klapat and officials of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and National Capital District Commission.

The youths even used a firearm, which was discharged to dramatize how they steal a vehicle.

Later, the youths explained that they wanted to show their involvement in criminal activities in their bid to survive in the city.

This project, jointly funded by the Japanese and PNG governments, aims to improve the daily livelihood of over 17,000 people in 11 settlements in Port Moresby.

Still a pilot project, it will be implemented in settlements throughout the country if proven successful.

Karua, also the settlement spokesman, said Vadavada, which was established in 1952 has now about 1,500 dwellers.

"This project will help reduce some of the hardships that we face in our daily struggle to make ends meet in the city," Karua said.

The project includes the following:

The survey for these projects was carried out by JICA in 1986 and the agreement to start these projects was signed by the Japanese and PNG governments in 2005.

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